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Warzone

for solo timpani and fixed media
Level: Advanced
Duration: 9:00
Personnel: Solo (timpani)
Release Date: 2016
Product ID : TSPCS16-006
Price: $23.00
Item #: TSPCS16-006



Description

Warzone is a collaborative composition by Alexander Singer (timpani) and Robert McClure (fixed media). The programmatic content references the horror and chaos of war, the innocence of youth so frequently pushed to the front lines, the bravery of those who give their lives, and the rush of adrenaline and fear that accompany battle.

Air raid sirens, sounds from helicopters and airplanes, and explosions were all created to place the listener in the thick of combat. The timpani provides a physical manifestation of the mental stages of warfare from the training to the marches and finally to the heart-racing brutality.

As emotionally intense as it is virtuosic, Warzone will provide a visceral experience for audiences to witness, and a challenge for advanced performers.

This piece ships as a professionally spiral bound folio with a full color cover.  Fixed media accompaniment track is included as a WAV file on CD-ROM.


Instrumentation

  • 4 timpani (23”, 36”, 29”, 32”)
  • PA system (for audio component)

Reviews

“Warzone” is a timpani solo written largely to showcase the performer’s technical abilities. Alexander Singer seems to be the composer/performer of the timpani passages, and Robert McClure the creator of the digital media for the work. Seeking to evoke the sounds, feelings, and images of battle, the soundscape consists largely of manipulations of warning sirens, helicopter propellers, explosions, and other battle sounds. A brief interlude involving a gamelan-like melody is a musical highlight of the work. 

Stylistically, this solo sounds like a drum corps “I&E” competition piece rather than one intended for the recital hall. The performer is instructed to play with snare drum sticks (both tip and butt ends) for most of the work, and at times the writing seems akin to a rudimental snare drum solo spread across multiple drums. Contrasting musical sections present themselves as part of an emotional narrative, but seem to serve as vehicles for highlighting different performing techniques rather than as agents of purely musical development. 

Some of the technical requirements are rather tenuous, including a section asking the performer to play a passage simultaneously between the 29 and 32-inch drums (both tuned to G) by rocking the left-hand stick back and forth between the edges of each drum. With the left hand busy, the right hand then plays a melody on top of this rhythmic ostinato.

The music is written creatively in several passages with more complicated pedaling. In these instances, each of the four drums is given its own stave, eliminating confusion about where to place the pitches across the setup. “Warzone” demands a good ear, good hands, and good pedal technique. But with a limited approach to traditional timpani tone and touch, its audience appeal might be rather limited. 

—Phillip O'Banion

Percussive Notes

Vol. 55, No. 2, May 2017

Description

Warzone is a collaborative composition by Alexander Singer (timpani) and Robert McClure (fixed media). The programmatic content references the horror and chaos of war, the innocence of youth so frequently pushed to the front lines, the bravery of those who give their lives, and the rush of adrenaline and fear that accompany battle.

Air raid sirens, sounds from helicopters and airplanes, and explosions were all created to place the listener in the thick of combat. The timpani provides a physical manifestation of the mental stages of warfare from the training to the marches and finally to the heart-racing brutality.

As emotionally intense as it is virtuosic, Warzone will provide a visceral experience for audiences to witness, and a challenge for advanced performers.

This piece ships as a professionally spiral bound folio with a full color cover.  Fixed media accompaniment track is included as a WAV file on CD-ROM.


Instrumentation

  • 4 timpani (23”, 36”, 29”, 32”)
  • PA system (for audio component)

Reviews

“Warzone” is a timpani solo written largely to showcase the performer’s technical abilities. Alexander Singer seems to be the composer/performer of the timpani passages, and Robert McClure the creator of the digital media for the work. Seeking to evoke the sounds, feelings, and images of battle, the soundscape consists largely of manipulations of warning sirens, helicopter propellers, explosions, and other battle sounds. A brief interlude involving a gamelan-like melody is a musical highlight of the work. 

Stylistically, this solo sounds like a drum corps “I&E” competition piece rather than one intended for the recital hall. The performer is instructed to play with snare drum sticks (both tip and butt ends) for most of the work, and at times the writing seems akin to a rudimental snare drum solo spread across multiple drums. Contrasting musical sections present themselves as part of an emotional narrative, but seem to serve as vehicles for highlighting different performing techniques rather than as agents of purely musical development. 

Some of the technical requirements are rather tenuous, including a section asking the performer to play a passage simultaneously between the 29 and 32-inch drums (both tuned to G) by rocking the left-hand stick back and forth between the edges of each drum. With the left hand busy, the right hand then plays a melody on top of this rhythmic ostinato.

The music is written creatively in several passages with more complicated pedaling. In these instances, each of the four drums is given its own stave, eliminating confusion about where to place the pitches across the setup. “Warzone” demands a good ear, good hands, and good pedal technique. But with a limited approach to traditional timpani tone and touch, its audience appeal might be rather limited. 

—Phillip O'Banion

Percussive Notes

Vol. 55, No. 2, May 2017



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